Tom Smeal

05:04AM | 12/15/04
Member Since: 02/02/04
13 lifetime posts
We wish to put a ceramic tile floor in the kitchen of our 1965-built wood frame home.

The wood based floor has an Armstrong Solarium waxless vinyl floor cemented over the original sheet vinyl floor.

Is it practicable to try to remove the existing flooring and install ceramic tile?

Can I tile over the existing floor?

Thanks for any advice,



05:57AM | 12/15/04
Member Since: 06/06/03
1250 lifetime posts
Hi Tom,

I'm not a tile pro, but I have tackled such jobs in the past.

One thing I've found is that those cemented-down vinyl floors can be VERY labor intensive to remove.

But it still might be possible to lay Hardibacker down on top of the existing floor and tile that. One problem with doing this is that it raises the level of the floor--so that entry into the room from adjacent areas requires a small "step up." (should be less than 3/4" but depends on thickness of the tile you select).

Some vinyl floors just went down with cement around the edges only; I don't suppose you're lucky enough to have one of those (?)


-k2 in CO

Moderator, Miscellaneous Forum


08:25AM | 12/27/04
Member Since: 11/07/04
83 lifetime posts
I would not take a chance on it. Tile really needs a firm surface and the layers of vinyl are apt to "flex" a bit and that is just going to give you cracks in your new tile. Short of ripping up the old vinyl and getting down to the wood you don't have much choice. For a firm surface you need a wood floor that is 3/4 inch thick or use cement backerboard. Take a trip to your local home improvement store and get some advice. Also look at books on tile or flooring and they will tell you the same thing I think. I have a book on tile and it recommends removing old flooring such as vinyl.

Tom Smeal

08:39AM | 12/27/04
Member Since: 02/02/04
13 lifetime posts
Good point Timbear. I did this for an upstairs bathroom that had a sheet vinyl floor. I used cement backer board screwed directly through the vinyl floor into the subfloor, then ceramic tiled on top. It worked great! This technique even eliminated the floor squeeks.

The problem with my kitchen is that I have two layers, soloarium over sheet vinyl. I really want ceramic tile. I guess I'll test a small are to see if I can remove the solarium and scrape off the glue that was spread all over when it was installed over the original sheet vinyl floor.

If I screw down the backer board over the solarium and vinyl flooring, I suspect I would get a firm mechanical joint that will not flex because it is screwed all the way into the plywood subfloor.

I will just end up with a raised floor.

Oh well, it will still look great!




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